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2022 World Cup commercial features David Beckham, Peyton Manning



At this point in his career, Peyton Manning is a commercial veteran. 

The Pro Football Hall of Famer co-starred alongside family members and singers and represented insurance brands and sportsbooks. 

Manning’s latest advertising venture has to do with a different type of “football” – and the debate between “soccer” and “football” is the key element in a Frito-Lay spot he shot over the summer alongside David Beckham in England. Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain of U.S. women’s national team fame also make guest appearances in the commercial. 

Manning spoke to USA TODAY through his partnership with Frito-Lay ahead of the FIFA men’s World Cup about the ad, his thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts hiring Jeff Saturday, and what the future holds for the “ManningCast.”

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USA TODAY: I know you’re a commercial veteran at this point: what was it like doing this one in particular? 

Peyton Manning: It was a lot of fun to do, flew over to London, actually for it. Getting on David’s schedule was challenging. The spot ended up being just a couple days after the queen passed, which provided some travel challenges and David actually participated in the memorial services for the queen, and he was coming off that tough day for the whole area there. 

It was the first time I met David Beckham. He and I had never crossed paths before. He was a good host. I felt like I was kind of the outsider, the visitor, letting the American football player into this soccer promotion. But David was a good host. I felt better that I had some backup with Julie, Mia and Brandi on my team, even though they weren’t there, present, at the house where David and I were hanging out. But we just sort of laid the law down early. I think it’s called soccer. He thinks that’s ridiculous; it’s called “football.” I’m like, ‘Football is the sport that I played.’ We were pretty back-and-forth the whole way and neither side wanted to budge. David wanted to take it to the audience, take it to the masses, let them weigh in, as you clearly see in the spot. There’s a lot of strong opinions from both sides. I think in the end, we kind of came to the conclusion, it doesn’t really matter what you call it, as long as you come together and still watch it. That’s what the World Cup is going to do. It’s going to bring people from all over the world together to watch.

USAT: With the World Cup smack-dab in the middle of football season, how do you plan on juggling World Cup watching and football watching? 

PM: It’s always a challenge, managing your time. Hopefully people will be going to school still, going to work, let’s not play hooky to watch the entire World Cup or to watch football. I think there’s a place for both. Most people have their favorite sport or their favorite team. For me, I enjoy American football, enjoy keeping up with different teams, players and coaches that maybe I played with or against. So that’s kind of fun for me.

But the World Cup, now that I’m part of this Frito-Lay team, David and Mia and Julie and Brandi let me hang out for a little bit, I kind of feel more of a connection this year. So I’ll be tuning in to some of the World Cup, but certainly, my priority is American football.

USAT: Will the “ManningCast” ever expand beyond 10 weeks per season? And how much sway does ESPN have in determining which games you do?  

PM: I don’t really want to see Eli’s face 17 weeks in a row. That’s just too much. We thought 10 was a good number. We kind of run out of things to talk about after 10. Plus, I think it keeps our guests kind of fresh. Thirty guests that really love football, come from different professions and different backgrounds just kind of makes it more fresh. But ESPN, certainly, says there are certain games that are important to them, but then Eli and I had the ability where, if a date didn’t work because of a family commitment or whatnot, maybe we go to the next week.” 

USAT: It seemed like you guys were pretty excited about having President Obama on a few weeks ago. Was he the guest you were most nervous for? 

PM: I probably would say President Obama. We tried to get him on last year and I think like a lot of people he had no clue what this thing was. So he passed, which I understood. We offered it to President Obama and President Bush and it just wasn’t the right time. This time, with Chicago playing, we reached back out to President Obama. We were thrilled he said yes. He was great. He was engaging. You can tell that he knows football. The one thing in common with all the guests is that they have to have a real connection to football. They have to love it, have a passion for it. I thought President Obama made that very clear for lots of sports, but he likes football, he certainly loves Chicago sports, and the fact that he got to talk about his voting initiative as well was a touchdown, if you will. 

I told Eli, ‘Hey, kind of dial it in here, get your game face on. This is the 44th president of the United States.’ Not the same as talking to the Kelce brothers. 

USAT: How do you stay focused during a broadcast with so many moving parts on the production side and dealing with the delays? 

PM: It’s certainly a lot of moving parts. Not completely different from when you’re playing quarterback and you have someone talking in your ear, giving you the play, but you also have your wide receiver coming back saying, ‘I’m open, this guy can’t guard me.’ So you got two people talking in your ear at the same time, you got your right guard telling you, ‘Hey I can’t hear the audible.’ So quarterback’s got to be able to handle all of that. Not to mention you got crowd noise of 80,000 people telling you what they think of you. 

So it’s a little chaotic. I think at first, Eli and I were kind of like maybe worried about the delay, we kept talking over each other. We had some hot mic moments. Eli shot the double-bird last year. I think we kind of came to find out that’s what makes the show a little different. That you’re going to have that, and it’s not going to be so buttoned-up. The football game is still the priority. But maybe those slow times in the game, a 2nd-and-1 running play from your own 20-yard line, maybe not that interesting to break that down. So let’s talk to Snoop Dog about his youth football experience and his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers. So we feel like we kind of know when to bring the guest in. And maybe on a serious play or a third down on the goal line, to bring them in to predict the play or ask them what they’re looking for. It’s kind of how I watch football in this second chapter … when the game’s good, you’re talking about the game. When the game is not that interesting, let’s have a conversation.

USAT: Did you watch the Colts (last) Sunday? 

PM: I did, yeah. 

USAT: What did you think of Jeff Saturday’s first game on the job? 

PM: I’m proud of Jeff, I’m proud of the team for stepping up, playing well after a tough week, right? Frank Reich is a friend of mine, was one of my former coaches. Never like to see a coach have to go through that. I thought the team responded well. Hopefully the team can get on a roll. 

USAT: Were you surprised when you saw he was going to be the coach? 

PM: Yeah I was. I didn’t have any insider information there. Obviously, Jim and Jeff had been in conversation throughout the year. I’m happy for Jeff. I’m pulling hard for him. And look, the Colts will always be an important part of my life.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.



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